The Amazon rainforest fire is burning at a record rate and has been for over three weeks. The raging flames are putting over three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous peoples’ lives in danger.
Earlier this month, Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region. While just yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted:
As the world starts to take notice, it’s becoming apparent that many of the rainforest fires are started deliberately by farmers and loggers. This is so they can clear land for industrial and agricultural use, such as grazing and rearing cattle.
The Amazon rainforest is home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity and a key factor in combating climate change. The world would dramatically change if the rainforest were to disappear, impacting everything from farms to drinking water, reports CNN.
With trending hashtags gathering momentum, such as #PrayForAmazonas, it’s clear that the burning rainforest needs more than just prayers and for more people to take action.
According to front line charities, local activists (including Gina Martin), campaigners and lawyers, here are seven micro actions you can take to help…
1. Click and donate to Amazon Frontlines
Grassroots charity, Amazon Frontlines focus their work on defending indigenous rights to land, life and cultural survival in the Amazon rainforest. Click to donate as much as you can afford to instantly make a difference.
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HELP SAVE THE AMAZON! Millions of acres of indigenous territory across Brazil are burning! Amazon Frontlines has joined forces with our indigenous allies in Brazil! Together, we can turn this disaster into hope and change this into action! DONATE NOW to help frontline communities fighting for the future of the Amazon! Link in bio #ActForTheAmazon#ActForAmazonia #prayforamazonia #climatechange #amazonrainforest
2. Sign the petition
Lawyer Gabriel Santos has set up a petition on change.org in order to lobby the Brazilian government and help put an end to the burning of the rainforest. He lives in Rio Branco and with millions of global signatures as leverage, he is urging authorities to set up an inquiry to investigate the cause of the increase in fires. The number of Amazon rainforest fires is up 84% compared to 2018.
Nearly 3 million people have already signed. Your signature really counts here.
3. Follow Rainforest Alliance
This initiative know the only solution is by building an alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers. Follow Rainforest Alliance on Instagram to read up about their good work – and encourage your friends and families to educate themselves and donate if they can too.
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The fires in the Amazon are an indicator of slash-and-burn logging and forests being cleared for agriculture and beef production. But things don’t have to be this way. In Guatemala’s magnificent Maya Biosphere Reserve (swipe to see the satellite map), fires in the dry season of 2017 were concentrated in the reserve’s core “protected zones” in the west and “buffer zones” along the reserve’s southern edge. However, you’ll see very few fires within the 11 forest concessions managed by communities (lime green on map). In these areas, the @rainforestalliance works with local communities to develop sustainable forestry enterprises. In fact, for the first time in nearly two decades, net forest *gain* was recently found in the Reserve, an area historically plagued by deforestation. The community members of the Petén have been able to improve their livelihoods while protecting the forest they call home. Proof that people who make their living from the forest have the strongest incentive to protect it. #RainforestAlliance #SalvemosPeten @acofop #Guatemala #MayaBiosphereReserve #ForestFires #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #FightDeforestation #FollowTheFrog 📸: @sergioizquierdophoto
4. Join the Extinction Rebellion
Today on 23 August 2019, Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Brazilian Embassy in London. This is happening alongside 22 Brazilian Embassies and consulates around the world, and in 52 cities in Brazil, protesting the Amazon rainforest fire. They’re calling it ‘#SOSAmazonia’. Look out for other hashtags: #OurLungsAreOnFire and #ClimateIndigenousRights and join in the conversation.
5. Consider paying ‘eco tax’
This means paying between 1-5% of your salary each month to charities and organisations who are on the frontline to protect and conserve habitats. Amazon Watch and Cool Earth Action are two other great causes to support. Thanks to UK activist Gina Martin for this suggestion.
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There's no way of me posting anything other than this, because I can't really think about anything other than this right now. 🧠 As I'm sure you've already seen, the Amazon Rainforest has been burning for weeks. As you maybe haven't seen, many of these fires were started by humans, illegally, to make space for cattle farming. Climate breakdown has exacerbated this for sure, but much of this is human-led, too. Brazil's president is a climate change denier and is doing nothing to protect what is one of the most biodiverse habit in the world and one of the biggest protectors against climate breakdown as it absorbs c02. When Notre Dame burnt, billionaires stepped in. No deaths, just a wealthy landmark damaged. But as the Amazon burns and thousands of indigenous people and animals are displaced or hurt, there is silence. We prioritise white history, but not indigenous lives. Sure, I cried about this in bed about this morning. Sure, I couldn't sleep for thinking about it last night and had to read a @mattzhaig book about aliens to take my mind off it 👽, but when they go low, we go high. When greed threatens to ruin what we love, we respond by creating the most important motivator: hope. So, here is what you can do to help save the rainforest right this minute: . ✊🏼 Click and donate to the grassroots Amazon Frontline Charity through the button in my stories. . ✊🏼 Remove beef from your diet. Beef is the single most resource heavy meat in the world. This land is being cleared for cattle. It takes 1,799 gallons of water to make 1lb of beef. The house is on fire and less demand leads to less production. . ✊🏼 Sign the petition in my stories started by a Brazilian lawyer. (Thank you for this info @govieee_x) ✊🏼 Follow @rainforestalliance and ask your family and friends to donate and shout about this issue. . ✊🏼 Consider paying 'eco tax'; between 1 and 5% of your pay cheque each month to charities who are working on the front line to protect and conserve habitats: Trees For Life, @CoolEarthAction and Amazon Frontline or are great ones to support. . ✊🏼 Join extinction rebellion outside the Brazilian Embassy tomorrow. (Thanks @tollydollyposh for this!)
6. Eat less beef
Did you know that beef is the single most resource-heavy meat in the world? The land in the Amazon rainforest is being cleared for cattle, plus it takes around 1,1799 gallons of water to make 1lb of beef. Less demand leads to less production, which could hopefully help prevent further deliberate burning of the forests.
7. Use an eco search engine
Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you run. The company itself also sets a great example as their servers run on 100% renewable energy and every search request removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.